Christmas Workshop

By Julie Wardell and Ruth Liljenquist

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    Holiday Sandwiches

    2 cups milk

    4 eggs

    1 teaspoon dry mustard

    12 slices white or wheat bread

    6 slices (1 ounce/28 g each) American cheese

    6 slices ham

    6 slices cooked turkey breast

    1. In a large bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, and mustard.

    2. Place 6 slices of bread in a greased 9″ x 13″ (23 cm x 33 cm) baking pan. Pour half of the milk mixture evenly over the bread. Let stand for 15 minutes.

    3. Cut the cheese slices into decorative shapes with Christmas cookie cutters and put aside. Save the leftover cheese scraps.

    4. Put a slice of ham, a slice of turkey, and some leftover cheese scraps on top of each piece of soaked bread. Top with the remaining bread slices.

    5. Carefully pour the remaining milk mixture evenly on top of each sandwich. Let stand for 15 minutes.

    6. Bake at 375° F (190° C) for 35 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the sandwiches are golden.

    7. Place a decorative cheese cutout on top of each sandwich. Return to the oven and bake for 3–4 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

    Sparkling Stars

    1 package (15 ounces/ 425 g) refrigerated piecrusts

    1 egg white, lightly beaten

    colored sugars of your choice

    1. Carefully unfold piecrusts according to the package directions and place on a lightly floured surface.

    2. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place them on lightly greased baking sheets.

    3. Shape the leftover dough into a ball, roll out, and cut out more stars.

    4. Brush the top of each star with the egg white, then sprinkle with the colored sugar, pressing lightly.

    5. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 6–8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

    Christmas Trees

    1 gallon (3.8 liters) popped corn (1/2 cup corn equals about 1 quart popped)

    2 1/2 tablespoons margarine

    1 jar (7 ounces/199 g) marshmallow creme

    green colored sugar

    cinnamon candies

    small gum drops

    1. Put the popped corn into a large bowl.

    2. Place the margarine in a saucepan and melt over low heat. Stir in the marshmallow creme and melt.

    3. Slowly pour the mixture over the popped corn, stirring to evenly coat it.

    4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, grease your hands. Take about a cup of the packed mixture and shape it a tree. (If desired, varying amounts can be used to make different-size trees.)

    5. Sprinkle each tree with colored sugar, decorate it with cinnamon candies, and top it with a gumdrop.

    Cereal and Fruit Snack

    1 1/2 cups corn cereal squares

    2/3 cup toasted oat cereal

    1 cup raisins

    1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

    1/3 cup flaked coconut

    1/2 cup salted peanuts

    3/4 cup candy-coated chocolate (optional)

    Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.

    Layered Mashed-Potato Fudge

    3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    1 cup shredded coconut

    1/2 cup mashed potatoes, cooled

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 squares semisweet chocolate

    1. Beat the sugar and the coconut into the mashed potatoes just until moistened. Mix in the vanilla.

    2. Press the mixture into a foil-lined 8″ (20 cm) square pan.

    3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Pour it over the top of the pressed mixture.

    4. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then cut into squares and remove the foil. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Chocolate Parfait Cookies

    1/2 cup margarine, softened

    1 cup sugar

    1 egg

    1/4 cup milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 3/4 cups flour

    1/3 cup baking cocoa

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    16–18 large marshmallows

    Chocolate Icing (following)

    1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine with the sugar. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

    2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, then beat into the creamed mixture.

    3. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough onto greased cookie sheets.

    4. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 8 minutes.

    5. While the cookies are baking, cut the marshmallows in half. Place a marshmallow half, cut side down, on each baked cookie. Return to the oven for 2–3 minutes.

    6. Cool the cookies completely before icing.

    Chocolate Icing

    6 tablespoons margarine

    2 tablespoons baking cocoa

    1/4 cup milk

    1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    32–36 red candied cherries

    1. Heat the margarine, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Stir constantly.

    2. Pour the mixture into a small mixing bowl and let it cool slightly.

    3. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

    4. Drizzle the icing on the cooled cookies. Top each cookie with a cherry.

    Candy Cane Horse Ornament

    To make this horse, you will need: pencil, paper, scissors, red felt, a 2″ (5 cm) piece of fringe for the mane (or make it out of string), glue, a 4″ (10 cm) piece of narrow ribbon, two plastic eyes, and a candy cane.

    1. Trace the horse’s head pattern, then cut out two heads from the felt.

    2. Glue the fringe along the edge of one piece of felt (see illustration). Then loop the ribbon, and glue it at the top for the hanger.

    3. Glue the heads together along two sides, leaving the ends open (see illustration). Glue an eye on each side of the head.

    4. After the glue dries, insert a candy cane; hang the ornament on a wall, a door, or the Christmas tree.

    Jingle Bell Necklace

    To make a necklace, you will need: one piece each of red, green, and white thin cord or yarn 1 yard (.9 m) long, five small jingle bells, a needle, and white thread.

    1. Braid the cords, and knot them at each end.

    2. Fold the necklace in half to find the middle. Sew on one bell there.

    3. Sew on the other bells evenly along the necklace. Tie it on to wear.

    Nativity Set

    To make this nativity set, you will need: nine 3″ x 6″ (7.6 cm x 15.2 cm) Styrofoam cones, one 7/8″ (2.2 cm) and nine 1 1/2″ (3.8 cm) Styrofoam balls, a paintbrush, acrylic paints, a pencil, paper, scissors, glue, scraps of different kinds of fabric (felt, wool, velvet, silk, calico, white cotton, etc.), white or pink chenille sticks, a few beads or pieces of old jewelry, and a handful of cotton balls. Because this is a big project, you may want to ask a sister or brother to help, or ask to do it as a family home evening project.

    1. Paint the Styrofoam balls a flesh color; when dry, paint faces on them (see illustrations). Or cut out small pieces of felt for the eyes, noses, and mouths, and glue them in place. Make Joseph, Mary, three shepherds, an angel, and three Wise Men. The 7/8″ ball is for Baby Jesus. Glue the larger balls to the tips of the cones.

    2. Trace the robe pattern, then cut out nine fabric robes. Glue each robe to a cone. Using the scissors, poke a small hole 1/2″ (1.3 cm) from the top on each side for the armholes (see illustration at right).

      Robe pattern
    3. For each arm, cut a chenille stick 6″ (15 cm) long and loop at one end for a hand. Bend 1/2″ (1.3 cm) from the other end. Trace the sleeve pattern, then cut out eighteen fabric sleeves. Fold a sleeve over each arm and glue together (see illustration). Put some glue on each armhole, then insert an arm.

    4. Use other scraps of fabric to make capes, sashes, cloaks, hair, hats, or scarves to decorate the figures; for the Wise Men, attach the beads or old jewelry to their clothing or headdresses (see illustration). Find long twigs or similarly shaped wood scraps for shepherds staffs and place them in the shepherds’ hands.

    5. For the Baby Jesus, make a body (about 2″/5 cm long) out of cotton balls. Glue the small Styrofoam ball to the body. Wrap it with strips of white fabric to make Him look wrapped in swaddling clothes. Bend Mary’s arms so that she can hold Him.

    Photos by Maren E. Younce

    Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki